"...You hear they are moving File Maker back in-house?"
Filemaker used to be the
shiznit back when I sold Macs for a living (or, more accurately, an air-quote living). Lots of people loved Filemaker.
Ever since they spun it off, it's just been plain old shiznit.
I frankly haven't kept up with it in the past few years. But for those more in the know thatn me, how difficult/desirable would it be to have Filemaker be a combo speadsheet and db app, as part of MacOffice (TM)? Should it be a "combo" app, or should Apple create a new one from scratch?
So would it look like this?
- Document (Word processing)
- Mail (duh)
- Filemaker (DB...+ spreadsheet?)
(spreadsheet if necessary)
- Keynote (duh)
- iCal (duh)
- iChat ("no techies required" videoconferencing)
- Address Book (duh)
- Safari (duh)
- Quicktime Pro (just for the hell of it, and so that annoying upgrade message doesn't pester employees...or just remove the pop-up from the non-pro version)
Note that the only thing missing is the word processing and spreadsheet bits (they are the most important too).
Of course, it would have to be perfectly/seemlessly compatible with MS Office (particularly Document and the spreadsheet app; keynote already is). Have a preference where documents can be saved as MS Word docs by default.
It would also have to come close to MS Office's functionality (though Word has a lot of crap that 99% of users don't use or even know about), and exceed its usability.
BTW, on the subject. If Apple really wants to kill MS... give AppleOffice (or whatever it ends up being called) away on all new computers. Sell it retail for $149. Upgrades for free... $49 if necessary ($19 education/bulk). Sell 10-user licenses for $499; unlimited licenses for $999 (isn't that like OS X Server?). Make it irresistable! (particularly in this economy).
On top of that, since WWDC is a developer conference, make it open-source (or at least parts). Contribute it to OpenOffice...or as an alternative...whatever. Duplicate the success with Safari. Also, Apple will want to avoid the security/backdoor problems with MSOffice, along with the "monopoly" accusation (that it's just replacing MS's monopoly). Opensourcing it will help with both problems. The point is to make AppleOffice a vehicle for gaining marketshare and shielding Apple from MS's wrath/BS, not to necessarily make it a cashcow in and of itself.
A gamble? Yes, certainly.
What does Apple have to lose? Not much. Maybe a few million bucks. (It can't
lose much more marketshare.
What does Apple have to gain? Marketshare. Customers. Money. Bragging-rights. Respect.
..Oh...um, since this is FutureHardware, um... make a version available with one of those neato, slim Apple FireWire cameras that connect to those neato new Apple monitors with the USB and FireWire ports.